With summer camp season just around the corner, it's time to connect with your campers and their families by way of a newsletter or email outlining all the need-to-know information before the first day. Are you really sending out all the details that parents and their kids need to know in advance of your start date? Lots of vital tidbits often get left out but definitely shouldn't.
Discover 5 concerns you're not addressing in your camp's newsletter:
While it can be tough to check every single box with your camp's newsletter content, it's imperative that you cover all the essentials. Parents and guardians shouldn't be stressed out before sending their young ones off to camp; instead, your newsletter should be a comforting presence, outlining all the details that they need to know in order to prepare for one of the summer's biggest excursions.
To properly construct your newsletter content, you have to put yourself in a camp parent's shoes. What pieces of information are they going to be asking for? What additional clarifications would benefit them? What questions might they not know to ask but you, as a camp professional, recognize as indispensable? Your camp's newsletter should be informative and not leave any stone unturned.
Check out the top concerns that you need to address when it's time to send out that all-important message:
Arrival and Dismissal
It may sound perfunctory, but including all the details about arrivals and dismissals is crucial to the success of each camper's experience. Emotions will be running high with both parents and their children when they arrive on the first day, so being 100 percent clear about the logistical side of drop-offs and pick-ups will go a long way to easing any frayed nerves either party might be experiencing.
Be sure to clearly outline the answers to the following questions:
- When does camp start?
- When does camp end?
- When and where do parents drop their kids off?
- Do they need to bring forms with them on the first day? If so, where?
Camp Packing Info
Perhaps the most important piece of pre-arrival info for a camp to outline is what participants should bring with them. It's not just about forgetting something vital but also about packing the right brand or version of a particular item. Their packing list should be treated like a school supply list in that nothing is left up to interpretation.
Make sure you cover the following points:
- What will my kids need to have with them on a daily basis?
- What additional items does my child need to bring to camp?
- Even more importantly, what additional items should my child not bring to camp?
- If my child has special medical or allergy concerns, is there anything extra that needs to be added to the list?
Special Days and Events
If your camp is scheduling some special themed days or events throughout their summer schedule, it's imperative that parents and children all know about these in advance. You will not only increase participation by allowing everyone to plan their days around those events accordingly, but also encourage the best form of free advertising: word-of-mouth buzz. If certain festivities are opened up to the community at large, getting your current campers talking about them ahead of time can lead to new registrants down the road.
The following questions should all be tackled as part of your camp's newsletter:
- What are the special days and events that you will be hosting? When and where will they occur?
- What special equipment or extra clothing will these activities require (if any)?
- Are there extra costs or tickets that need to be purchased ahead of time?
Health and Safety Policies
Outlining health and safety policies would seem like a no-brainer for camp newsletters, however a great many organizations leave this to the fine print section of their documentation and do not inform parents and families properly ahead of time. As a camp that manages many children over the course of a season, you want to ensure everyone's well-being by offering up a transparent set of guidelines.
Don't leave out the answers to these questions:
- How do you deal with campers with special dietary or health needs?
- What bunk is my child in? Is my kid in a bunk with their friend?
- In case of an emergency, what is management's protocol? What about counselors?
Finally, we have another section of the prototypical camp newsletter that is often either underwritten or left out completely. Simply put, parents and guardians have to know who they're supposed to contact in a given scenario, whether it's to ask a quick question or to voice a concern. Also, the specific communication channels and ways to stay in touch with your camp's day-to-day updates should also be outlined.
Make sure you answer these queries:
- Who is the contact person at the camp office?
- What are your social media channels?
- How can I subscribe to the camp newsletter?
- What are your visiting hours?
- Will I be able to send letters to my child when they are at camp?
- Will I be able to talk to them on the phone or via text message?
Whether campers and their parents are regulars or first-timers, your organization needs to ensure that everyone who registered has the information they need to make this summer's stay an unforgettable one. Clear communication about logistics, healthy and safety, special events and more are essential to increase customer satisfaction and, through referrals or word-of-mouth buzz, building up your brand as a trustworthy one in the industry.
Want to take a deeper dive into communication strategies for camps? Download our free guide now!